Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

Best Value
Listing Type
Tour/Activity
Type of Tour/Activity
Jungle and Rainforest Adventures
Main Activity
Cave Exploration
Departs From
Start Point
San Ignacio Town
Intensity Level
Moderate
$
100
-
$
125
/ Person
Trusted Provider
Mario C
Avg. Response:
46 minutes
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About Listing
Features:
ATM Cave
Ancient Artifacts
Archaeological Reserve
Cave System
Nature Trails
Subterranean River
Belize Gold Standard Certified - Belizing.com

Description
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave is a cave in Belize, near San Ignacio, Cayo District, notable as a Maya archaeological site that includes skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware. There are several areas with skeletal remains in the main chamber. The best known as "The Crystal Maiden", is the skeleton of an adolescent (an 18-year-old girl), possibly a sacrifice victim, whose bones have been calcified to a sparkling, crystallized appearance. Recent studies, however, claim that the remains are male and not female.

The ceramics at the site are significant partly because they are marked with "kill holes", which indicate that they were used for ceremonial purposes. Many of the Maya artifacts and remains are completely calcified to the cave floor. One artifact, named the "Monkey Pot", is one of just four of its type found in Central America. The Maya also modified cave formations here, in some instances to create altars for the offerings, in others to create silhouettes of faces and animals or to project a shadow image into the cave. The cave is extensively decorated with cave formations in the upper passages.

Animal life in the cave includes a large population of bats, large freshwater crabs, crayfish, catfish, and other tropical fish. Large invertebrates like Amblypygi and various predatory spiders also inhabit the cave. Agouti and otters may also use the cave. These and many other species are quite common in river caves of this size in Belize.
 
Suitable for:
Teens
Adults
Families
Groups
Couples
Seniors
Recommended Age Range:
11 - 20
21 - 30
31 - 40
41 - 50
Over 50
What is Included?
Things the supplier includes without any extra cost.
  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Lunch
  • Transportation from San Ignacio
  • Licensed ATM Tour Guide
What to bring?
Recommended items to bring on the trip.
  • Water & Snacks
  • Comfortable Shoes and Socks
  • Towel and Change of Clothes
Rates
The base rates charged by the provider. This includes all taxes and applicable fees.
Minimum:
2 people
Minimum number of people.
Price
Unless otherwise indicated, prices are in US dollars.
Per
Price
Unless otherwise indicated, prices are in US dollars.
Description
Person
$
125
2 pax - $125.00
Person
$
110
3 & 4 pax - $110.00
Person
$
100
5 & up pax - $100.00
Availability
Schedule
Dates
Start Time
Daily8:00 AM
Provider
 (17)
Mario Castellanos Your Tour Guide Mario is a native of Belize, fluent in English, Spanish and Creole language. He possesses a B Sc. in International Relations from the University ... moreof the West Indies (Upper Second Class Hons.). Worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize for 21 years and traveled widely also was teaching at a High School.

After 7 years of working as a tour guide for some of Belize's better known Jungle Lodges, Mario found that he can better serve his clients as an independent tour guide. This allows him to tailor each and every tour to the needs of his customers rather than being pressed into a time schedule designed to get the maximum people with a minimum effort to the most sites.

Mario Castellanos's tours will not only introduce you to all the famous sites of Belize, but you will also get an in-depth insight into the ecological aspects along the way.

From ruins, birding, caves to river tubing, Mario has years of experience in the field and will take the time you need and desire to have the most pleasant and educational experience possible.
Account Type:
Tour Operator
Gold Certified:
Yes
Service Types:
Tours | Activities
Payment & Cancellation
Cancellation Policy
No refunds
Terms & Conditions
Cancellations – 30 Days or More:

Cancellations received 30 days or more before the scheduled arrival date will be eligible for a full refund of the initial deposit, with a 5% cancellation fee deducted.

Cancellations – 29 to 7 Days Before Arrival:

For cancellations received within 29 to 7 days before the arrival date, a 50% refund of the initial deposit will be provided.

Cancellations – 6 Days to Arrival:

No refund will be issued for cancellations made 6 days or fewer before the scheduled arrival date of any tour, shuttle, or package.

No-Show Policy: If the customer does not show up for their tour or uses only a portion of the package, no refund will be issued.

Weather-Related Cancellations:

Tours canceled due to unforeseen weather conditions will be rescheduled for the following day unless alternative arrangements are made by the client via email.

Rescheduling:

Rescheduling of tours has no additional charge. However, a 25% fee will be applied for moving the date of any package or shuttle if the rescheduling is done within 24 hours of the scheduled departure time.

We appreciate your understanding of our cancellation policy, designed to ensure fair treatment for all parties involved. For any further inquiries or assistance, feel free to contact our team. Your adventure with M&S Adventures & Archaeology Tours is important to us, and we look forward to creating memorable experiences together.
 
11 reviews   0 comments
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Was the tour accurately described on the website? In other words did it meet your expectations?
(4.7 of 5)
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(5.0 of 5)
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(4.6 of 5)
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Great tour
Our tour was great - the guide, driver, and scheduling was easy. Company was responsive and allowed us to change after a cancelled flight.
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ATM tour April 28
What an amazing trip!! Would recommend our guide every time! Gonzo is and archeologist who is studying the site and gave us a different insight than I think we would have received with some of the other tours. The tour was physically challenging at times but he was patient with anyone struggling.
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Good Tour, not well-organized
I booked a tour to the ATM cave for a group of 7 people (2 families) and was told that one additional person will join our tour. A ratio of 1 guide to 8 people is the regular ratio, so this made sense to me. Unfortunately our group of 7 was split among 3 (!) other groups/guides when we got to the cave which was less than ideal and ruined our experience as we wanted to make memories together. Both ... more families got split up and the 3 kids also couldn't be together. We were first told to NOT take any water, then we were told we MUST take a water bottle each, leading to a back and forth between our assigned groups and cars and taking some water bottles that were heavier/larger than the smaller bottles everyone else received from their tour guides. It seemed to be a busy day with lots of guides/groups venturing into the cave and it took forever to reach the end/highlight of the cave as we had to stop many many times to let other groups pass by on their way out. It might be just the way it is, but some of us started to get light-headed without any food/water for such a long time. The trip out of the cave was soooo much quicker without so many unnecessary stops.
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Loved it!
Our tour guide was Lenny and we absolutely loved him. The tour was a once in a lifetime experience and we would highly recommend it.
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Sandra
Really good tour, Gonzo took care of us and gave us so much information about the caves and what went on in there . I only gave it a 3 for comfort as you can’t really be comfortable climbing rocks and squeezing through caves filled with water. Everything else was excellent
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Beautiful Experience - a must do!
Had an amazing time doing the ATM tour. Renan was our guide and had a huge wealth of knowledge and experience to share. He took his time with us on the journey in and shared a lot of the history and ritual with a huge amount of respect to the sacredness of the space. So glad we took the time to do this while in Belize! Very trustworthy folks as well —I accidentally left a bag in the vehicle afterward ... more and Mario met up with me to return it later in the day. Thank you for everything!
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ATM - Best Tour!
Once in a lifetime experience for a family with 2 teens. Orlando was a great tour guide and provided a rich narrative of the area, local traditions and history. Orlando picked us up at the hotel and drove to the entrance. The cave tour is only allowed with a guide. The tour is no joke. Be prepared and follow the required list of what to wear to maximize your experience. For the hike/cave tour wear ... more what you can get wet and hike in. Bring a towel and change of clothes for the end and we kept the change of clothes/towel/phones in the locked truck. We hiked to the cave entrance for 30-40 minutes with 3 crossings of the same river with ropes. The first river is 1 river is about 4 feet deep. You swim about 20-30 feet to the cave entrance and climb through the cave in water of varying heights and climb up rocks, narrow passages and tight fits. Beautiful cave interiors. The walk is brisk into about 1/2 mile into the cave. The final destination is where you must wear socks to see the Mayan artifacts and skeletons and sacrificial area. No phones are allowed so you are very in the moment. Don’t pack anything with you- it’s not needed and you need your hands and nothing on your back to squeeze through. Then hike back 30 minutes in reverse ending with the final river crossing. Bathrooms/changing rooms at the end. Amazing experience. Followed with a delicious Belizean lunch served by your guide and reflecting on what you just accomplished with your group. Best tour we’ve ever done.
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Very Memorable ATM Cave Tour
This was a unique experience. We had to hike to the entrance of the cave for 30-40 min, on the way wading through a river three times (water up to 5 ft. deep). We had to swim about 30 ft. into the cave and then waded in the river at varying depths and climbed over rocks for about a quarter mile. Water shoes with toe protection are highly recommended as the ground is uneven and has many stones! For ... more the last few hundred yards where there are the Mayan relics we had to take off our shoes and were only allowed to wear socks. Unless you are used to walking barefoot on rough sand or gravel, you should wear socks! Our guide Orlando was not only very knowledgeable about Mayan culture and the relics found in the cave, but also guided us in a way that we always felt safe. Overall it was a great experience!
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Great tour! Must do!
Mario stayed on top of the communication all the time. Our driver David was great and super friendly and our tour guy Manuel was funny and super nice. Amazingn experience; I'll recommend them 100%. No cameras allow so no pics. You'll have to do the tour yourself.
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Gorgeous experience and Amazing guides!
Mario and his brother was great throughout the excursion. Communication was clear and quick, and the experience was awesome. A must in San Ignacio
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Amazing experience
Our guide, Orlando, was fantastic!
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